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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. -Anthropologist Margaret Mead Case Studies
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Biography:   Richard R. Rodgers    |   Jill Johnson    |   Anthony Cauterucci    |   David Rogers    |   Jim Schneider    |   Sunil Sondhi


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Global Goodwill
Global Goodwill
At the heart of who and what we are is the uniquely intangible asset of global goodwill - attitudes and experiences of kindness and good relationship. What we are able to accomplish is influenced greatly by the coming together of possibilities and people of goodwill. In an article they wrote for the McLean Providence Journal, Anna Bruce and Kathe Traynham describe one set of experiences that tell some of the story of The Resource Network in action.
Reprinted courtesy of Arcom Publishing, Inc.

An Unexpected Trip Reaps Global Goodwill
Rick Rodgers, at one time, knew every seated governor in the country, in his former role with the National Governors' Association. But of the numbers of powerful national politicians he has known, none compared to the international religious figures the McLean resident and businessman recently met in another country.
 
Rodgers participates with the work of Lazarus House Faith Community in downtown Washington. One of its goals is promoting racial harmony. Several years ago, they "adopted" a sister church in Johweto, South Africa. Johweto was founded in 1983 as a true attempt at interracial living. Rodgers' group had hosted visitors from South Africa, but had not found a way to finance a trip to Johweto. Earlier this year, an unexpected gift included enough money to send some people to South Africa. Rodgers was among those who went.
 
It's often said, to explain life's little coincidences, that God moves in mysterious ways. As Rodgers was driving with some South Africans one night, they began to discuss Beyers Naudé, whom they credited with ending apartheid. Naudé, a clergyman with the Dutch Reformed Church, came from one of the original Afrikaner families and, as a white, had defied his own history and been stripped of his clerical status and punished by the government. Now in his 80's, he is an icon of the civil rights movement in South Africa. Someone said "I wish there were some way we could meet him."
 
When Rodgers and his group got to Johweto, a resident in the township knew someone who knew someone else who made a phone call. Naudé agreed to meet them immediately! That's as if a South African came here and said, "Gee, I've always admired Coretta Scott King," and Anna said, "Okay. I'll have my cousin call her friend in Atlanta. She went to school with someone who knew one of their kids!"
 
Now the tale gets even stranger. Before Rodgers left, he and his wife were downtown on the Mall on July 4, and ran into someone they knew who said, "Oh, be sure to call my daughter Jane while you're there - she lives in Cape Town."
 
Rodgers called Jane, and shortly after they arrived in South Africa, Amy Biehl, a Californian who was working to end racial strife there, was pulled out of her car and beaten to death. Despite the crime, and being white herself, Jane was not afraid to take Rodgers' group to the town where Amy Biehl had been killed.
 
At a church service in the black township, several young people stood up and read letters to Amy, saying they knew she was there to help. And the minister asked everyone to remember how many thousands of black people had died, even as they remembered this one white woman. Rodgers said at the end, the whole congregation sang "How Great Thou Art," in English. He wept.
 
At one point in Cape Town, Jane said, "Well, what would you like to do while you're here?" Rick answered, "I know there's no chance, but it would be so wonderful to meet Bishop Tutu." Amazingly, Jane knew someone who worked for Tutu! She made the phone call. They were immediately invited to a special Eucharist the next day, after which Tutu was leaving the country.
 
Rick said the whole service was moving and emotional. And then, Tutu finished the service and walked right over to Rick and his group. Get this - he invited them to join him at breakfast. Rodgers was stunned when Tutu insisted on paying for the meal.
 
An unexpected trip of goodwill from one small church here to a tiny one in South Africa is one thing, but it doesn't compare with those who, at great personal risk and sacrifice, have given their lives for peace and justice. Rick Rodgers knows the difference, because he met the very people who make that choice every day.

 
 
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